Its been my privilege to work next door to the U.S. team planning this year’s Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 since I began working at the Richmond Symphony in August (our offices share a wall). So I’ve been inspired on a regular basis as hints were dropped about details for this major international musical event, as hints became hopes became plans, applications were made, contracts were drawn up, and all of a sudden here it is: January 22, the day of days, the red letter day!
Today is the day when much of what has been kept secret is finally revealed.
The world’s leading international competition for young violinists
This year, Richmond, Virginia will be the proud host of the biennial Menuhin Competition, which is held every other year in a different location. This will be only the second time that the competition – often referred to as “The Olympics of the Violin” – has been held in the United States (it took place in Austin, Texas in 2014).
The Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 is hosted by a consortium of institutions:
- Richmond Symphony
- City of Richmond
- Virginia Public Media
- University of Richmond
- Virginia Commonwealth University
The Menuhin Competition was founded in 1983 by Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), who was born in New York City and spent most of his life as a performer based in the U.K. Today, he is recognized as one of the greatest violinists of the twentieth century. Menuhin founded the competition that bears his name in 1983. The competition features 44 young violinists under 21 in two divisions:
- Juniors: ages 15 and under
- Seniors: ages 21 and under
There are 22 competitors in each category, and for this year’s competition a record 321 applicants from all over the world applied.
Today is the day when the identities of the competitors are finally announced to the world. They represent eighteen nationalities residing in sixteen countries:
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
This video, released today, is a brief introduction to all 44 competitors.
Kayleigh Kim is the only competitor from Virginia selected to participate in the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020. We are thrilled to share that Kayleigh is also the winner of the Richmond Symphony League’s 50th Annual Student Concerto Competition, and she will perform with the Richmond Symphony this Saturday, January 25 at our LolliPops concert It’s a Symphony Sing-A-Long!
As if this announcement – anticipated for months – weren’t enough, it was also announced today that the Australian classical music comedy duo Brett Yang and Eddy Chen, known as TwoSet Violin, will attend the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 as roving reporters.
Chances are good that if you are reading this, you understand what a coup this is for Richmond! but in case you are not yet familiar with Brett and Eddy’s antics, get prepared to go down a YouTube rabbit hole.
TwoSet Violin’s Youtube channel, formed in 2013, now has more than 2 million subscribers and more than 390 million views.
TwoSet will share (and lambast) news from the Competition on their social media channels, and they’re also rumored to be planning to participate in an event at VCU featuring motion-capture technology on May 23.
TwoSet Violin demonstrates how to play like Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrakh, Hilary Hahn, Leonidas Kavakos, Maxim Vengerov, Ivry Gitlis, Lindsey Stirling, Rachel Podger, Shinichi Suzuki, and Stephane Grappelli in under eight minutes.
Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020
For the full program of the competition and affiliated events – and to purchase tickets – visit the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020 website here. In addition to the actual competition rounds, masterclasses, concerts featuring the jurors and past competition winners, lectures, recitals, and more, there are many other exciting events happening in Richmond this coming May as part of our city’s focus on all things violin. Here are a few highlights – follow each link for more information, and check out the competition website for the full program!
May 2 Violin Day at VCU
May 14 Opening Gala Concert
May 18 Regina Carter Quartet
May 20 Mark & Maggie O’Connor
May 21 Sphinx Virtuosi
May 22 Junior Finals
May 23 Senior Finals
May 24 Closing Gala Concert
In addition to the many concerts and other public events presented as part of the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2020, plans are well underway to provide as many opportunities as possible for students in the Richmond metropolitan area to meet our contestants while they’re here, and to witness their remarkable virtuosity.
Read the full press release on the Richmond Symphony website here.